There is an interfaith organization in Westchester County called "Westchester United." It's only a few years old (got started in 2011).
Weschester United could be an organization with which CUC can be very meaningfully involved in ways that are transformative for our members and our community.
So far, the UU Fellowship of Northern Westchester (Mt. Kisco) is the only one of the five UU congregations in Westchester County to have joined Westchester United. Maybe CUC should become the second?
The current members of Westchester United include:
All Soul’s Presbyterian Church, Port Chester
Council of Community Services, Port Chester-Rye Brook
Don Bosco Worker Center, Port Chester
Holy Rosary Catholic Church, Port Chester
Muslim American Society, Yonkers
St Bartholomew’s Episcopal Church, White Plains
St. Gabrielle’s Catholic Church, New Rochelle
St. Mark’s Lutheran Church, Yonkers
St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, Rye Brook
Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Northern Westchester, Mt. Kisco
Upper Westchester Muslim Society, Thornwood
Wartburg Adult Care Center, Mt. Vernon
Shiloh Baptist Church, New Rochelle
The Westchester United website: http://westchester-united.org/
Westchester United is an IAF (Industrial Areas Foundation) organization.
IAF is the organization created by Saul Alinsky in Chicago in the 1930s.
Today there are 57 IAF afflilate organizations in 23 states-and-the-District-of-Columbia.
Locally, in addition to Westchester United, there are IAF affiliates in:
- New Haven, CT (CONECT - Congregations Organized for a NEw ConnecticuT);
- New Jersey(NJT - New Jersey Together);
- Brooklyn (EBC - East Brooklyn Congregations);
- Queens (EQUAL - Empowered Queens United in Action and Leadership);
- Bronx (SBC - South Bronx Churches);
- Manhattan (Manhattan Together);
- Long Island (LICAN - Long Island Congregations, Associations, and Neighborhoods)
See the general IAF website here: http://industrialareasfoundation.org/
CONGREGATION-BASED COMMUNITY ORGANIZING (CBCO)
See the brief Wikipedia entry on "Congregation-Based Community Organizing" (CBCO): CLICK HERE.
The UUA encourages UU congregations to be involved with CBCO. See the UUA webpage on CBCO: CLICK HERE. See the PDF of the 28-page UUA publication on CBCO, A Social Justice Approach to Revitializing Congregational Life (2006): HERE. At our GA 2013 in Louisville, Dr. Richard Wood presented "Building Bridges and Power: Advances in Congregation-Based Organizing." Hear the audio HERE while seeing his slides HERE.
There are four significant CBCO networks in the US. IAF is the grand-daddy. The other three are PICO, DART, and Gamaliel:
PICO (originally, "Pacific Institute for Community Organization," now "People Improving Communities through Organizing"): 52 federations in 18 states. http://www.piconetwork.org/. Nearby, there are PICO federations in Queens; Homer, NY; Camden, NJ; and Trenton, NJ.
Gamaliel Foundation: 39 affiliates in 17 states. http://www.gamaliel.org/. The Gamaliel affiliates in NY are in Long Island (Riverhead), Syracuse, Buffalo, and Niagara Falls.
DART (Direct Action and Research Training center): 20 affiliated CBCOs in 7 southern and midwestern states. http://www.thedartcenter.org/.
Some of these organizations also include schools, unions, or other community associations. Mostly, though, they consist of congregations.